This is a post that discusses the importance of taking good, hand-written notes, which are -importantly- phrased in your own words.
As a corollary, it is also a post about why slides are useless.
That’s about all that needs to be said. The rest of this article is an explanation of why.
What are the benefits of taking your own hand-written notes?
It makes you think more slowly and deeply about the material
It builds a mind-muscle connection
Many students forget things. Since I obviously can’t predict what every individual will remember and forget, it’s your job to help yourself remember.
Writing equations down is far superior to simply staring at them (again: mind-muscle connection)
Putting ideas into your own words forces you to internalize the material by translating them from “my way of talking” to “your way of talking”
Mind-muscle connection: what does this mean? When you only use your eyes (staring at slides or someone else’s notes) you are only using the neurons between your eyes and your brain.
When you write things down, you are using not just your sensory neurons, but your motor neurons also. In other words, 2 systems are working together at once (your sensory system and your motor system). Your whole body is working together in concert to internalize what you have learned.
Clearly, this is superior.
Putting things into your own words: why is it important?
If you have never read a college-level textbook in molecular biology or systems biology, I suggest you give it a try. Man, that stuff will put you to sleep instantly.
The way that biologists speak is very different from the way that a computer scientist or engineer speaks! Very different.
To understand biology, the engineer or computer scientist has to translate concepts from “biology language” into “engineer language”.
Hopefully, this is an over-explanation and this whole thing is obvious…
Let’s talk about slides.
Who asks for slides?
I will share with you my experience with in-person school (as opposed to this article, which is intended for students of online courses).
Students who ask for slides generally:
Study the least amount compared to other students (false belief that staring at slides will imbue them with knowledge)
Don’t take personal responsibility (they didn’t bother to take notes, now they want someone else to make up for it)
The general characteristics of these students were: lazy, falling behind, not studious, etc. In other words, they were bad students.
Thus, my first instinct when students ask for slides is always to encourage the student not to be one of these bad students, and to build good habits instead.
No, slides will not help you.
Only you can help you, by learning how to write things down like a normal, productive person!
One objection (in fact, the only objection) that students ever have to my suggestion of taking your own hand-written notes is that “but but but… everybody learns differently“.
This is a very poor excuse.
Go over the benefits of taking hand-written notes once again. You will agree with me that these are indisputable.
Claiming that you personally learn better with slides vs. taking notes is equivalent to claiming:
You learn better when you think less about the subject
You learn better by staring vs. building a mind-muscle connection
You learn better by not writing things down
You learn better when ideas are not in your own words
You are better solving math problems without writing down the equations vs. writing them down and manipulating the equations by hand
Clearly, all of the above are highly unlikely to be true.
Thus, your claim that “everybody learns differently” is utter bullshit. I dare anyone to tell me that any of the items above are true for them, with an explanation of why it works that way.
Still waiting for someone to give me a good explanation… 😉
Now, that being said – I do offer slides – at a price. Since no slides for my courses actually exist, I would need to export them manually.
In addition, to prevent piracy, they will have to be watermarked with a unique identification personalized to the student.
Since this requires manual labor, I will charge at my hourly rate: $250/h.
If anyone is serious about obtaining slides, I am happy to oblige at my usual hourly rate.
To end this article, I will share a video of a nice MMA YouTuber who discusses the importance of writing things down in order to remember what you learned in class.
For the next week, all my Deep Learning and AI courses are available for just $9.99! (In addition to other courses on the site for the next few days)
For those of you who have been around for some time, you know that this sale doesn’t come around very often – just a few times per year. If you’ve been on the fence about getting a course, NOW is the time to do so. Get it now – save it for later.
For my courses, please use the coupons below (included in the links), or if you want, enter the coupon code: JUN2019.
As usual, if you want to know what order to take my courses in, check out the lecture “What order should I take your courses in?” in the Appendix of any of my courses (including the free Numpy course).
For prerequisite courses (math, stats, Python programming) and all other courses, follow the links at the bottom for sales of up to 90% off!
Since ALL courses on Udemy on sale, if you want any course not listed here, just click the general (site-wide) link, and search for courses from that page.